The Philadelphia Phillies announced Tuesday they have signed center fielder Adam Haseley, who they selected out of Virginia with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft, to a minor-league contract. Haseley was the first college bat taken in the first round by the Phillies since 2000. The last two college bats taken in the first round by the Phillies were Chase Utley (2000) and Pat Burrell (1998), both of whom panned out quite well.
Haseley, an All-American, batted almost .400 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI’s, leading the ACC in batting (.390) and on-base percentage (.491), second in runs (68), third in slugging (.659), fourth in hits (87), fourth in walks (44), eighth in RBI’s (56) and ninth in home runs (14). Haseley’s remarkable numbers this year make sense as to why he was regarded as one of the best pure hitters in the draft and is a candidate to progress through the Phillies farm system quickly, listed by Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com as one of six players from this year’s draft who have a chance to make it to the majors sooner rather than later. Phillies signed Haseley for $5.1 million, which is slightly above the No. 8 slot value of $4,780,400.
The Phillies flipped the script this year, drafting three college players in the first three rounds after selecting three high school players with those picks last year. A reason for that is because the organization wanted to get some players who would be ready to help with the big club as soon as possible and college players are usually a bit more advanced than high school players, so there is less of an adjustment period for them. Aaron Nola is a prime example on how having that extra polish from being a college player can aide one in rising quickly through the minor-league levels, as he was drafted out of LSU in 2014 and found himself in the Phillies rotation only a year later.
The Phillies have signed seven of their top 10 picks, including second-round pick RHP Spencer Howard out of Cal Poly and fourth-round pick 3B/SS Jake Scheiner out of Houston. Haseley will start his professional career pretty soon and it could begin with the Williamsport Crosscutters, the Phillies’ Class-A short-season affiliate that just opened up their season a few days ago. There was some thought Haseley could start his professional career with the Class-A Lakewood BlueClaws, but the Phillies have indicated they want Haseley and last year’s first overall pick Mickey Moniak to play every day in center field, so Haseley starting with Williamsport makes sense.